BANGUED, Abra – Pollice authorities ordered a sudden reshuffling of ranking police officials of the Abra Provincial Polic e Office in order to sustain the implementation of peace and order initiatives to maintain law and order in the conflict-stricken province.
Senior Superintendent Virgilio P. Laya, officer-in-charge of the Abra provincial police office, who served the province for at least ten months, was replaced by Senior Superintendent Albertlito S. Garcia, former camp commander of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in the Cordillera based in Camp Dangwa, La Trinidad, Benguet.
Furthermore, Superintendent Mario Mayam-es, commanding officer of the Abra Provincial Public Safety Company, was replaced by Superintendent Lambert Suerte, former commanding officer of the Benguet Provincial Publis Safety Company.
Mayam-es will now serve as the PRO-COR public information officer in lieu of Superintendent Davee Vicente Limmong, who went on schooling in Cavite.
The move came in the wake of a series of shooting incidents in Abra, including the murder of Jack Turqueza and members of a private armed group disarming two policemen of their service firearms at a checkpoint in Lagayan last week.
Laya will be assigned as head of the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) Headquarters Service, earlier held by Garcia. Nerez said the reshuffle will take effect today.
“We will follow orders from higher authorities,” Laya said as a simple reaction to his sudden relief as Abra provincial director.
Gov. Eustaquio P. Bersamin welcomed the deployment of a company of elite law enforcers to the province to help in sustaining the gains of the peacekeeping initiatives of former police officials that were proven to be successful and well in place.
“Abrenios already want peace that is why we denounce violence. We do not want to be tagged as a violent-stricken province which does not speak well of the state of peace and order in the province,” Bersamin stressed.
He challenged regional, provincial and municipal police officials to be on their toes in the implementation of appropriate peacekeeping interventions that will translate to the engagement of the people in order to achieve the long overdue dream of the people for lasting peace.
“Peace is the foundation of development that is why we are heavily investing on successful peacekeeping initiatives in order to realize genuine peace for the benefit of the present and future generations of Abranios,” Bersamin added.
Bersamin was disappointed to learn that from January to the present, there were 27 shooting incidents in the capital town of Bangued alone, saying that the local police force should work double time in order to prevent the occurrence of crimes which pose a serious threat to the safety of the people and their properties.
The governor is confident that with an established working relationship between local officials, multi-sectoral representatives and law enforcers, much could be achieved in terms of peace and order initiatives to help bring back the pace that was achieved by the province during the May 13, 2013 mid-term elections where there was zero election-related violence and incidents.